Talent, intelligence, imagination, experience, and a second sense for the market. Everything that makes you an excellent web designer is worth nothing, if you don’t know how to find, attract and keep clients. More clients. The right clients.
In a world where the image is everything, knowing how to sell your gifts and experience is the only way to transform a passion that pays the bill, into a successful business. Here are 7 real ways that will help you get more clients than you might expect. Sooner than you hope.
No. 1 – Choose a niche, specialize and become a guru
As in any other business out there, finding and choosing a niche makes it easier for you to:
- Become very good very fast on that niche
- Demonstrate your abilities and expertise
- Gain more money with less work because of a) and b)
I know choosing a niche is not easy. Especially since one of the greatest blessings of being a web designer is not getting bored; since, you get to work on some many extremely different projects. But if you want to make serious money, you have to. Here are a few ideas to get you started. Choose something you like and you are good at, but make sure you can say “Yes” to the following questions:
- Is the niche big enough for you to make real money?
- Is there a pressing need of web design services?
- Can you cover it with the skills you have developed?
- Are the customers willing to pay enough for your skills?
Choosing a niche does not mean you have to refuse everything else. It just means, you are developing an area where you can very easily prove your skills, make money without having to get to know the domain first and get customers easier.
No. 2 – Make time and take care of your image
The romantic idea of a web designer which is so busy, he doesn’t find time for his website, is not a functional one. If you don’t take care of you, how can you convince me you are able to take care of my business? Invest time in creating an amazing website with the main purpose of proving your skills. Put your best work into it. Make it a sales piece and an extraordinary one. Print some business cards. Take care of your portfolio. Make sure you can show the world just how great you are. Anytime and anywhere. Here are a few examples to inspire you.
No. 3 – Become visible
Make a blog. Become a teacher, a mentor, and an inspiration for other web designers. Use your words and your designs to show without a doubt, how good you are at your job. Spread samples of your wisdom like crazy. All that talent and knowledge you gather in your mind; it doesn’t worth much money if you keep it to yourself. Make sure your clients see you. Use the social media, make a LinkedIn account. The options are endless, here are just 20 ideas. Go everywhere your clients are and make an appearance. Whether is live or virtual. Get your talent seen and your professional voice heard.
No. 4 – Get out there. Meet people. Speak. Give free advice. Network
There are a lot of incredible talented web designers out there that nobody has ever heard of, and probably they never will. Because most of them like to just sit in front of their computer and create really amazing stuff. Most of them rarely bother to go out into the business community and meet people. They just aren’t that into socializing. And they miss a lot. On their paycheck. Because clients are out there. At conferences, events, informal gatherings. You need to find the circles where your best future clients are and get in.
Drink a coffee together, make small talk about your families, comment on your common hobbies, and discuss business. Get to know them. Get them to know you. Believe me: the time invested will pay off a thousand times. The ones that will not hire you themselves, will mention you further to their friends and partners. And we all know how much such publicity is worth.
No. 5 – Find the one client that will bring almost everybody else in
I am sure you already know about who I am talking about. The client you are dreaming of. The big one. Working for it would change the way the market sees you. From “a” web designer to “the” web designer working for X. A big company in your niche that has created an image of excellence and quality around it. With big revenues and serious business.
Go for it now. Don’t expect for them to look for you. Don’t expect to get older and wiser until you approach them. Find out everything you can about their business and how you can help, and go knock on their door. Make them an offer they can’t refuse. Work almost for free, if you have to. Nobody will know. Your investment will come back a hundred times more. Because such a client is priceless in your portfolio.
No. 6 – Amaze them with your personal charm and additional services
A marketing truth you probably know, but I think it’s possible you have forgotten or ignored for too long, is that between two professionals, clients will always hire the one they like. Even if it’s all about the money, emotional attachment and comfort is the key to your success and their budget.
Remind yourself that you are working with people, not Excel charts or bank accounts. Make it your business to establish a personal connection. To understand your clients and to let them know that you understand them.
And after you have understood them, surprise them. Pay attention to their work rhythm and particularities. Set your intermediary reports accordingly and ask for input when you fill it’s the right time. Let them feel they are a part of the project and their opinion matters. Don’t forget about them once your task is over and you’ve got your money in the bank. Follow up. Reach out to them and check if everything is ok and if they are satisfied with your work. Do they need anything more?
No. 7 – Inspire your clients to become your most passionate advocates
Once you’ve made sure they are happy with your work, ask for their feedback. Don’t hesitate and don’t be shy. Think of it as a part of you paycheck for each project you have finished at an outstanding quality. You have the right to receive it. You need it. They will be happy to give it. And it will do miracles for your business.
Use the feedbacks you receive anywhere you can. On you website, on your blog, on your LinkedIn account. Along with your work (that speaks for herself) and your blog (where you speak), what clients say about you completes a golden triangle.
Now it’s your turn. Put all these into action and get the clients you deserve. Don’t be a stranger. Use the comment section below to let us know how it works and what other effective methods to get clients have you tested.